«: AGROCHEMICALS: FATE IN FOOD AND THE ENVIRONMENT PROCEEDINGS OF A SYMPOSIUM, ROME, 7 - 1 1 JUNE 1982 JOINTLY ORGANIZED BY IAEA AND FAO l^J I N T E R ...»
FATE IN FOOD
AND THE ENVIRONMENT
PROCEEDINGS OF A SYMPOSIUM, ROME, 7 - 1 1 JUNE 1982
JOINTLY ORGANIZED BY IAEA AND FAO
l^J I N T E R N A T I O N A L A T O M I C ENERGY A G E N C Y, V I E N N A, 1982
AGROCHEMICALS: FATE IN FOOD
AND THE ENVIRONMENT
AGROCHEMICALS : FATE IN FOOD
AND THE ENVIRONMENT
PROCEEDINGS OF AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM
ON AGROCHEMICALS: F A T E IN FOOD
AND THE ENVIRONMENT USING ISOTOPE TECHNIQUES
JOINTLY O R G A N I Z E D BY THE
INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCYA N D THE
F O O D A N D AGRICULTURE O R G A N I Z A T I O N
OF THE UNITED NATIONSA N D HELD IN ROME, 7 - 1 1 JUNE 1982
I N T E R N A T I O N A L ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCYVIENNA, 1982
AGROCHEMICALS: F A T E IN F O O D A N D THE ENVIRONMENT
Printed b y the I A E A in Austria November 1982 FOREWORD Current trends in population dictate intensified agricultural practices with concomitant growing use o f agrochemicals, particularly in developing countries.
Increased use o f pesticides has greatly aided crop production, protected man from diseases such as malaria and filariasis, decreased losses o f stored grains, and has generally improved man's welfare. Pesticides are an essential element in agricultural production, and there is little doubt that their use will continue to increase as more f o o d and better health are demanded.
Pesticide usage may lead to the appearance o f potentially undesirable residues as trace contaminants of f o o d, the environment and living tissues. The full impact cannot, however, be quantified. In recent years, increasing investment has been made into development o f measures to reduce pesticide contamination o f f o o d and the environment, while at the same time protecting crops, livestock and people from pest attack. In this context, nuclear technology has played and will continue to play an important role in programmes aimed at understanding the behaviour o f pesticide chemicals and at studying their fate.
Indeed, for many purposes, such technology is considered a unique tool, and for others a necessary addition to the existing armoury of conventional methodologies.
These technologies and pesticide residue problems were the theme of the International Symposium on Agrochemicals: Fate in F o o d and the Environment using Isotope Techniques, which was jointly organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the F o o d and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in co-operation with the Comitato Nazionale per la Ricerca e per lo Sviluppo dell'Energia Nucleare e delle Energie Alternative (ENEA). It was held in Rome, Italy, from 7 to 11 June 1982 and was attended by 78 participants from 36 countries and two international organizations. The contributed papers and posters have clearly illustrated the potential value o f isotope techniques and have reviewed the advances made in the development and application of these techniques in studying the fate o f pesticide chemicals in plants, f o o d and farm animals, and in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
EDITORIAL NOTEThe papers and discussions have been edited by the editorial staff of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the extent considered necessary for the reader's assistance. The views expressed and the general style adopted remain, however, the responsibility of the named authors or participants. In addition, the views are not necessarily those of the governments of the nominating Member States or of the nominating organizations.
Where papers have been incorporated into these Proceedings without resetting by the Agency, this has been done with the knowledge of the authors and their government authorities, and their cooperation is gratefully acknowledged. The Proceedings have been printed by composition typing and photo-offset lithography. Within the limitations imposed by this method, every effort has been made to maintain a high editorial standard, in particular to achieve, wherever practicable, consistency of units and symbols and conformity to the standards recommended by competent international bodies.
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CONTENTSPESTICIDES: BENEFITS AND COSTS (Session I)
AGROCHEMICALS IN INDIA: IMPACT ON AGRICULTURE.
Agriculture in India, after years of stagnation, is undergoing a quiet revolution and the country is now self-sufficient in food grains and cash crops. Many modern technological inputs have contributed to this, especially pesticides. India today uses about 61 000 t per annum of pesticides for both agricultural and public health purposes, which is very little compared with some developed countries. The industry now has an installed capacity of 97 000 t and is making 57 basic chemicals, mostly of the older type although four, DDT, BHC, malathion and carbaryl, are major ones. BHC constitutes about 60% of the pesticides used in India. Among the crops, cotton and rice require the most pesticide and wheat the least. The manufacture, sale and use of pesticides is regulated by government agencies in India. The relationship between increased pesticide consumption and food production in the country is shown. To date crop-wise analysis shows that wheat, the main contributor to the 'Green Revolution', did not require very much pesticide; production of rice has not shown a similar growth owing to serious pest problems, which have partially been overcome by pesticides; production of cotton has shown the real impact of pesticides; use of pesticides will improve the production of subsistence crops, such as sorghum, pulses and oil-seeds, if irrigation is assured. To grow more food for the everincreasing population use of pesticides must increase, but the recent steep increase in price and consequent increase in the cost: benefit ratio are acting as a deterrent.
due to the introduction o f a new agriculture strategy and the application o f modern technologies, such as high-yielding varieties, improved seeds, fertilizers, increased irrigation and, above all, proper plant protection technology by using pesticides.
The latter "protection o f our produce both in field and storage" is very important for a tropical country such as India. The benefits accrued from all other inputs depend on this because high-yielding varieties and large monoculture technology increase pest problems and the best results are usually obtained under the umbrella o f plant protection. In the tropics, therefore, protection is more important than production .
2. ESTIMATES OF CROP LOSSES DUE T O PESTS
It has long been known that considerable crop losses occur world-wide as a result o f the invasion o f insect pests and the infestation o f phytopathogens.
Several instances o f crop epidemics have been recorded in the past, e.g. the ravages o f potato blight in Ireland in 1840, c o f f e e rust in Ceylon in 1870, and epiphytotics due to the helminthosporium disease o f rice in India in 1918 and 1942. In recent times the red rot attack on sugar-cane in northern India during 1937—1942 and again in 1946—47, wheat stem-rust in 1954, the brown plant hopper attack on rice in 1973—74, and the army worm epidemic on several crops in 1979 have all caused severe losses.
Many complex issues are involved in any attempt to estimate crop losses due to pests and diseases. Hence, there is an urgent expediency to develop a systematic methodology that will ensure determination of the critical value o f intensity o f attack, taking into account the life cycle o f the pest, the variety o f the crop, the variables in season and the location o f cultivation. Although no systematic attempt has been made to compute field losses, some empirical estimates are, however, available, these being based on limited experimental observations in India.
The National Council o f Applied Economics Research (NCAER), New Delhi, on the basis o f estimates made in experiments in several states between 1950—51 and 1965—66, recorded a maximum loss o f 40.3% in cotton and a minimum o f 2.8% in wheat; other crops, namely potato, sugar-cane and paddy, suffered intermediate losses .
According to the Programme Evaluation Organisation o f the Planning Commission, New Delhi, losses o f high-yielding varieties varied from 3 to 4% in wheat to 4 0 % in rice and jowar [3 ]. These estimates indicate consistently that wheat suffers minimum losses due to pests.
Estimated losses o f paddy, on the basis o f studies conducted by the Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute in 1971 , confirm the estimates o f the Programme Evaluation Organisation, namely that this crop is very susceptible to pests and diseases, with losses ranging from 3 to 20% depending on the variety, location and season.
Weeds Plant diseases Insect pests Miscellaneous pests Storage pests Rodents Annual loss Source: Ref. .
1 crore = 107 rupees.
In the absence o f a very systematic methodology for estimation, many o f the available estimates are based on limited information and they can best be termed as 'felt losses'. Table I gives a recent estimate o f some o f these avoidable losses due to different types o f pests . Other estimates have determined that losses in field and storage cost about US $7 500 million .
3. GROWTH OF PESTICIDE USE IN INDIA
The realization that pesticides are essential for achieving India's planned growth has been very slow. Starting with very small quantities (500 t) in the 1950s, use o f pesticides has slowly grown and currently stands at about 61 000 t per annum. Even now, by the standards o f developed countries, India uses very little pesticide; with 15% o f the world's population and almost 4% o f the world's cropped area, it has only 3% o f the world's total consumption o f pesticides (Table II ).
A major amount is used for malaria control and other public health programmes.
Even this is a recent figure and it has taken many years to reach. However, even with this meagre application o f pesticides f o o d production has increased considerably. This figure is also small in comparison with other inputs like fertilizers, the per hectare consumption o f which now stands at 27 kg/ha.
4. GROWTH OF THE PESTICIDE INDUSTRY
The pesticide industry in India is relatively young. The manufacture o f basic pesticides started in 1952—53 with BHC in Calcutta. In 1955 large-scale manufacture o f technical DDT and its formulations started in the public sector in Delhi with the help of UN agencies like UNICEF and WHO. Formulation industries, using imported pesticides, were also started on a large scale at about this time.
The initial DDT plant set up in 1955 has now grown into a premier public sector company that has the m o n o p o l y on the manufacture o f DDT; it also produces other agricultural pesticides such as BHC, malathion and endosulphan.
Manufacture o f organophosphorous (OP) compounds started in India around 1965; at present most o f the OPs are manufactured by the private sector. There are g o o d deposits o f phosphatic rock in India and all the elemental phosphorus needed for pesticides and other products is produced indigenously.
Growth o f the industry was very slow up to the mid-sixties and only 14 technical pesticides (chiefly DDT, BHC, malathion, 2,4-D, wettable S and Cu-oxychloride) were being manufactured. It was only during the third planning period (1965—71) that the pesticide industry received the specific attention o f planners and started developing properly at an annual growth rate o f about 11% .
Many new products were added and R and D efforts were increased, especially after 1973. However, the growth rate has slowed down.
The present position regarding licensed capacity and manufacturing capability (installed capacity) is shown in Table III . The current total licensed capacity is about 93 000 t but the total installed capacity is only about 78 000 t.